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Planning Anchorage trip

Planning Anchorage trip

Old Sep 4, 11, 6:38 pm
  #1  
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Planning Anchorage trip

Iím going to be in Anchorage for 2 days at the end of the month (arrive 1915 26th September, depart 2030 28th September).
Iím looking for suggestions as to what to do and where to stay. From some quick research, it appears that a lot of places close or cut back their opening hours from the 15th...

I donít have a license, so wonít be hiring a car. Will need to walk, get public transport or use a taxi. Looking for accommodation with an upper range of $100-120 AUD/night.

Any ideas?
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Old Sep 4, 11, 6:47 pm
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Timing of your trip is pretty good as the tourist season ends in mid-September, and prices for hotels, etc., drop drastically while availability improves. In your price range you could try the Millenium Inn on Spenard, very close to the airport.

Anchorage is a spread out place with limited public transit. Getting around without a car is going to be a challenge. You can cab it of course but that'll get expensive in a hurry.

There are plenty of good eats in Anchorage. My personal favorite is the Beartooth Grill. It's a long while since I've been there but I recall that the blackened halibut tacos were excellent.
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Old Sep 4, 11, 7:10 pm
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In contrast to the above poster, honestly I think the timing of your trip is quite bad, especially considering you can't rent a car. There are some nice boat tours from Whittier that are still operating, but you can't get there easily. The train no longer operates and many shuttle services have stopped by then too. You might check with the operators in Whittier (26 Glaciers or Prince William Sound) to see if they offer transportation from Anchorage. That would be a great option for Sep 27th.

I would rather pay a bit more for a hotel and have options on sightseeing than pay a cheap rate for a hotel and have extremely limited touring options. No wonder the hotel prices drop!

I would try to rent a bicycle and bike part or all of the Tony Knowles Coastal Trail. Check Downtown Bicycle Rental or Pablo's Bike Rental.

You can see if the AK Public Lands Information Center, the Earthquake or Aurora films are still playing and check out the Anchorage Museum. You can take the public bus to within spitting distance of Lake Hood (near the airport) to watch floatplanes take off and land (or bike there from the Tony Knowles Trail). Check out the Aviation Museum near there too.
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Old Sep 5, 11, 7:42 pm
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I would take a cab to downtown and stay at a centrally located hotel such as the Captain Cook or the Marriott. (Not sure what the exchange rate is these days, but as previously noted there may some good deals this time of year.) There are numerous attractions and good restaurants within walking distance. (My favorite is Marx Bros, but there are several others worthy of recommendation.)
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Old Sep 6, 11, 3:02 am
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Originally Posted by PIONEER View Post
(Not sure what the exchange rate is these days, but as previously noted there may some good deals this time of year.)
The exchange rate is currently hovering between 1AUD = 1.05 to 1.07USD.

I checked the opening times of the Aviation Museum, it won't be open the 27th (Tuesday), but is open until 5pm on the 28th. Do you think I'd be able to drop my bags off with AA around noon or 1pm, then go to the Aviation Museum before heading back to the terminal for my flight out?
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Old Sep 6, 11, 12:56 pm
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Not sure of your budget, but if at all possible I'd go on a flightseeing hop on a floatplane operating out of Lake Hood (world's biggest seaplane base, adjacent to ANC.) In late September, with the prospect of "termination dust" (early snow) on the Chugach peaks, the views from light planes around Anchorage/Cook Inlet can be nothing short of heart-stopping. IMO well worth busting a budget, but of course YMMV. Rust's is probably the biggest and one of the elder operators there - http://www.flyrusts.com/

If the AA counter at ANC isn't open when you get there (and IIRC it doesn't open all that early - they use AS staff) there is a luggage storage service in the south terminal where you can store your bags for a few dollars per.
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Old Sep 7, 11, 1:39 am
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I totally agree about doing flightseeing if time and finances and weather permit. We just went out with Rust a few weeks ago to Katmai to see the bears. That was a great experience, but it wasn't cheap. I'm thinking close to $1000 for the 2 of us. The Rust people did a great job. I would caution that the planes are rather small, and the flight is about 2 hours each way. If you're over 6' as I am it may be a bit uncomfortable. I could hardly move after the return trip.
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Old Sep 7, 11, 3:34 am
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The flightseeing sounds interesting. It looks like they have 3 options still running in late Sep, Anchorage Flightseeing Safari ($100, Ĺ hour), Denali National Park Flightseeing ($375, 3 hours) and Knik Glacier & Wildlife Tour ($235, 1.5 hours). But I’m not sure I could stretch the budget that far, would probably depend on the cost of where I book to stay in New York. Would they still go up even of only one person has booked?

It looks like the AA counters open at 4.30pm. So if I go to the airport, drop my bags in storage then go to the Aviation Museum around 1 or 2pm. I can spend a few hours at the museum then head back to check in around 5pm when the museum closes.


As for accommodation, I’m currently looking at one of these:
Ramada Anchorage Downtown 115 East 3rd Ave
Days Inn Anchorage Downtown 321 East 5th Avenue
Comfort Inn Ship Creek 111 Ship Creek Ave
Thoughts?
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Old Sep 7, 11, 9:18 am
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Originally Posted by Himeno View Post
The flightseeing sounds interesting. It looks like they have 3 options still running in late Sep, Anchorage Flightseeing Safari ($100, Ĺ hour), Denali National Park Flightseeing ($375, 3 hours) and Knik Glacier & Wildlife Tour ($235, 1.5 hours). But I’m not sure I could stretch the budget that far, would probably depend on the cost of where I book to stay in New York. Would they still go up even of only one person has booked?

It looks like the AA counters open at 4.30pm. So if I go to the airport, drop my bags in storage then go to the Aviation Museum around 1 or 2pm. I can spend a few hours at the museum then head back to check in around 5pm when the museum closes.


As for accommodation, I’m currently looking at one of these:
Ramada Anchorage Downtown 115 East 3rd Ave
Days Inn Anchorage Downtown 321 East 5th Avenue
Comfort Inn Ship Creek 111 Ship Creek Ave
Thoughts?
I suspect they'd take you up if you were alone. The Lake Hood charter people are extremely flexible (read, loose) when it comes to such things. It would be getting on to the end of the season so they might respond well to some dickering, too. Phone them when you get to town and see if you can cut a deal. Note that there are also numerous fixed base operators on wheels at Merrill Field, a little east of downtown - for example, Aero Tech - which might be a little cheaper.

Of your lodging choices I'd definitely go for the Comfort Inn, as they have an airport shuttle that will also take you downtown (which is easily walkable). Not fancy, and you may be serenaded by freight cars colliding in the night, but an interesting location. The others on E. 5th are in okay, not great locations, also walkable to downtown easily, but not a lot of interesting commercial activity within a few blocks.

Last edited by Gardyloo; Sep 7, 11 at 9:25 am
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